History

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In 1937, a number of enthusiasts met and decided to form what became known as The Holy Trinity Operatic and Dramatic Society, chaired by the Rev’d L. J. B. Snell, father of Col. Blashford Snell, the famous explorer. The first production was “Merrie England” , staged in the Holy Trinity Institute in October of that year. the following year, the Society produced ” The Gondoliers” with a cast of 50. Rehearsals for “Iolanthe” commenced in 1939 but were abandoned after the outbreat of WW2.

The group reformed in 1947 as the Hereford Gilbert and Sullivan Operatic Society, rehearsing for “The Gondoliers” which was presented from April 27th to May 1st, 1948 at the Garrison Theatre, Bradbury Lines under the baton of Arthur Cole, then Director of Music to the Cheltenham Corporation.

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The Society has since performed all the well-known Gilbert and Sullivan operettas and other productions have included “The Arcadians”, “Bless the Bride”, “Brigadoon”, “The Gypsy Baron”, “La Belle Helene”, etc. Producers in the early years included several ex-members of the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company including notably, Leslie Rands, Beryl Dixon and Thomas Round and the tradition of inviting professional and high quality producers continues to the present day, Martyn Harrison and Alistair Donkin being the most recent to take on that role.

From 1949 to 1962 the Society’s shows were staged at The Kemble Theatre, Broad Street and after its demolition, at the Regal theatre (now a bingo hall), the Garrison theatre and Belmont Abbey school. In 1979 the Society staged its first production at The Nell Gwynne Theatre, later renamed The New Hereford Theatre and later still redeveloped as The Courtyard

The Hereford G&S Society has formed strong links with Hereford’s twin town of Dillenburg, Germany and has hosted members of the Glück-Auf Choir here in Hereford as well as visiting Dillenburg on several occasions to perform shows.

The Society celebrated 65 years of bringing G&S to the people of Hereford and the Welsh Marches in 2012

Year Production Year Production
1948 The Gondoliers 1981 Patience
1949 The Mikado 1982 The Gondoliers
1950 Trial by Jury &H.M.S. Pinafore 1983 La Belle Helene
1951 Merrie England 1984 H.M.S. Pinafore
1952 Patience 1985 The Pirates of Penzance & The Mikado
1953 The Gondoliers 1986 The Sorcerer
1954 Tom Jones 1987 The Vagabond King
1955 The Mikado 1988 Princess Ida
1956 Trial by Jury & The Pirates of Penzance 1989 The Merry Widow
1957 The Yeomen of the Guard 1990 Die Fledermaus
1958 The Arcadians 1991 Iolanthe
1959 H.M.S. Pinafore 1992 The Gondoliers
1960 Ruddigore 1993 The Yeomen of the Guard
1961 Bless the Bride 1994 The Pirates of Penzance
1962 Brigadoon 1995 Orpheus in the Underworld
1963 The Gondoliers 1996 Ruddigore
1964 The Yeomen of the Guard 1997 Trial by Jury & H.M.S. Pinafore
1965 Iolanthe 1998 The Sorcerer
1966 The Sorcerer 1999 The Mikado
1967 The Mikado 2000 Merrie England
1968 Patience 2001 Iolanthe
1969 Merrie England 2002 The Gondoliers
1970 Trial by Jury & H.M.S. Pinafore 2003 Patience
1971 Princess Ida 2004 The Merry Widow
1972 The Gondoliers 2005 The Pirates of Penzance
1973 The Pirates of Penzance 2006 The Yeomen of the Guard
1974 Ruddigore 2007 Die Fledermaus
1975 Die Fledermaus 2008 H.M.S. Pinafore
1976 Orpheus in the Underworld 2009 The Mikado
1977 The Mikado 2010 The Sorcerer
1978 Iolanthe 2010 Ruddygore
1979 The Yeomen of the Guard 2012 Iolanthe
1980 The Gipsy Baron 2013 The Gondoliers
Trial by Jury